WHAT KIND OF HISTORY IS THE HISTORY OF THE SELF? NEW PERSPECTIVES FROM THE HISTORY OF MIND AND BRAIN MEDICINE
In a recent forum contribution to the American Historical Review on the relationship between history and biology, Lynn Hunt proposed that the future of academic scholarship devoted to exploring the origins and development of modern selfhood would depend on the disciplinary alliance between history and neuroscience. Tabling, for the moment, the cogency of her central assertion, we can nevertheless agree that Hunt espouses a sentiment shared by many historians: “the question of the self is a huge and difficult subject on its own,” she writes, and historical analysis of some sort can help us make better sense of it. The effort to do precisely that over the past several decades, through a variety of historiographic approaches, has engendered a remarkably sizable corpus of writings on the history and conceptual development of the modern, typically Western, self.
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